Sweet and Sour Chicken
It’s kinda weird how my body has had insatiable cravings for Asian and Lebanese foods these past few months… I feel they’re pretty much all I’ve been eating lately.
When the craving for Shish Taouk or Shawarma strikes, I tend to simply hit my local Lebanese restaurant. The thing is, I do not yet own one of them autodoners, you see… Plus frankly, as much as I love my Lebanese food, I can’t really picture myself cooking 85 pounds of meat at a time!
Then I’d have to rename this place into something like “BunchOfLeftoverShishTaoukRecipes.com”
Besides, I find that Lebanese food is probably just as healthy at the restaurant as it would be if I were to make it at home. Or very close, anyway…
I’m afraid the same can’t be said for Asian food, though. Most Asian restaurants out there add all kinds of ingredients and special seasonings that I don’t much care for to their dishes. Plus, they tend to make a very enthusiastic use of their deep fryer…
So, when the craving for Asian food strikes, I much prefer to make my own at home. This Sweet and Sour Chicken is the first of two Asian dishes that I created this week. That’s right, I made 2, back to back. But, I’m afraid you,re gonna have to wait for the second one, though. Unfortunately, I can only serve one dish at a time here…
Both turned out absolutely amazing and totally satisfied my cravings… for now!
I know I must sound like a broken record, but when making Asian food, it’s especially important that you have all your ingredients ready before you even get your pan or wok near the stove. Oh, and if you’re planning on serving rice (or noodles) with your dish, it’s always a good idea to get that out of the way before you do anything else.
Next, make your sauce by whisking all the ingredients, except for the tapioca starch, in a large glass measuring cup. Then, chop your veggies, fruits and meat!
Once all your ingredients (and side dishes) are good and ready to go, heat some olive oil (or other healthy cooking fat of your choice) in a large wok or skillet set over high heat.
When the pan is nice and scorching hot, add the pieces of chicken all at once and sprinkle them generously with salt.
Let the meat cook until it gets nice and golden all around, which should take about 10 to 12 minutes.
Once the chicken is fully cooked, add the bell peppers and onions.
Continue cooking for about 1 minute, until the veggies are just slightly softened and fragrant…
Throw in the drained pineapple chunks and mix well.
Whisk the tapioca starch in the sauce and then pour the whole thing into the skillet.
Bring the sauce to a full boil, stirring continuously until it’s nicely thickened.
Remove from heat and serve your Sweet and Sour Chicken with a side of steamed rice, garnished with a pinch of finely chopped green onions, if desired.
And if you want to kick things up a notch, throw in a generous handful of dry roasted cashews. I’m thinking I totally should’ve done that myself!
HA! There’s always next time…
- 2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 550g | 19.4oz total), patted dry and cut into bite size chunks
- ½ green bell pepper, seeded and cut into large chunks
- 1 small onion, cut into large chunks
- 1 -14oz (398ml) can pineapple chunks, drained (save the juice)
- Generous sprinkle of salt
- ½ cup (120 ml) light chicken stock
- ½ cup pineapple juice (from canned pineapple chunks)
- ¼ cup (120 ml) unpasteurized honey
- ¼ cup (60 ml) unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp sambal oelek
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- ½ tsp salt (I use Himalayan salt)
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tbsp tapioca starch
- In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce, except for the tapioca starch.
- Heat the olive oil (or other healthy cooking fat of your choice) in a large wok or skillet set over high heat. When the pan is nice and hot, add the pieces of chicken, sprinkle them generously with salt and let the meat cook until it gets nice and golden all around, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Once the chicken is fully cooked, add the bell peppers and onions and continue cooking for about 1 minute, until the veggies are just slightly softened and fragrant; throw in the drained pineapple chunks and mix well.
- Whisk the tapioca starch in the sauce and then pour it into the skillet. Bring to a full boil, stirring continuously until the sauce is thickened, then remove from heat and serve with a side of steamed rice, garnished with a pinch of finely chopped green onions, if desired.